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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Columns

Social media posts can decide your future


Colleges have been focusing on more than just academics when prospective students apply to attend their school.

As social media becomes more ingrained in our lives, we must increasingly exercise judgment for our posts. Always be conscious of your online footprint because it may hurt you when you apply for college and jobs.

Forty percent of schools already check their prospective students’ social media pages such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Whether you like it or not— it happens. The only way to circumvent something like this is to strengthen the privacy settings on your accounts and to have a little self-control.

An applicant’s Twitter has the potential to be the most incriminating type of site for schools, or even employers, to see.

I’m not saying that people aren’t posting questionable stuff on social media. In the case of Twitter, due to its fast pace and the diffusion of information, people are more likely to post something reckless before the next wave of tweets bury their post at the bottom of their followers’ timeline.

Everything that goes on the internet is immortalized. The Library of Congress is archiving tweets to document and preserve our country’s digital heritage. There’s also all the clandestine documentation of social media posts (that one’s for you, NSA).

My following advice is corny, but it’s a solid way to figure out whether what you want to post is suitable for being out there forever.

So here it is: imagine your grandma. Imagine showing her the contents of your post and try your best to guess what her reaction would be.

If she laughs, pinches your cheek and heads back to get cookies out of the oven, the post is probably safe for the viewing pleasure of your friends, the schools you’ve applied to and potential employers.

If grandma, however, hits you with a quizzical look and backtracks, figure out why she would react that way. Was it because of the many inebriated faces in the party picture you were about to post? Maybe the vulgar language? If your grandma doesn’t approve, the people who visit your social media to see if you’d fit their organization or school probably won’t as well.

Whether you agree with people going through your social media, remember, you’re the one who controls the accessibility of information.

It’s perfectly acceptable for colleges and employers to view what you put up for the rest of the world to see.

Assistant opinion editor Thom Dwyer is a broadcast journalism sophomore and can be reached at [email protected]

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